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Does life exist on other planets?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Introduction Before we start to investigate the possibility of life beyond earth, we must first define life. The oxford English dictionary defines life as- "the condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth and functional activity". So, life can be seen as a body of mass that has senses, can reproduce and has nucleus or brain. Life can also be seen as a molecule or group of molecules that can reproduce or have a function. Throughout this case study I will refer to life as a cell or group of cells that have a nucleus, this can include a small patch of bacteria ranging up to a large biomass. Not only do we have to consider how the organism can survive, but we must also consider what environments life can and can't survive in. For example viruses can survive the pressures and the environment of space but humans cannot. Some planets contain an atmosphere with lots of Carbon dioxide in it or lots of Nitrogen in it. Some have an atmospheric temperature that can vary between -70�C and 20�C. How can life survive in these temperatures? ...read more.

Middle

So now already, the compulsory elements to sustain life have increased in complexity; the planet needs to have resources that can also sustain the growth of bacteria as well as the growth of a plant, therefore decreasing the chance of possible life. Asteroids Asteroids only really offer some protection and maybe some frozen water; they don't have what is needed to sustain an element of life in a large quantity. The only possible thing that could survive on an asteroid is a virus. However viruses are useless on their own; if they don't have a body (or host) to infect it just become a group of molecules that have the potential to reproduce one another but can't. Finding a planet that is suitable for life may be unlikely, however with so many planets out there that chances of finding a planet similar to ours, or a planet with good conditions for sustaining life are very strong and very probable. It's just the simple challenge of trying to find these planets that is holding us back. We also have not been able to develop the technology to be able to go further into space whilst at the same time being able control the spacecraft and sent back the data. ...read more.

Conclusion

Conclusion Well for many years humans have pondered whether or not life exists beyond planet Earth. There have been theories about how life first started on earth and how it might lead us to evidence about extraterrestrial life. We have created advanced technology and organisations such as SETI and NASA that specialise in exploring outer space and examining it. With every year that goes by we bring light to another part of the universe that we did not know existed. And for every part we bring light to we get closer to finding evidence of extraterrestrial life. The universe is huge and getting bigger, with novae, supernovae and nebulas always forming new planets and with so many out there, the chance of finding some sort of life is very likely. With so many stars and so many planets orbiting them finding a planet with similar conditions to ours will be a tough job, however many years ago we though that the atom was the smallest thing. Man will keep on finding new ways to overcome problems, new ways to explore, and new ways to discover places that would never be possible to without science. Eventually man will create a device that will finally be able to go further than ever before. ...read more.

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